November Features:

Life has many rules. Look both ways before crossing the street. Put the toilet seat down. Pay your taxes. There’s stuff you just gotta do. In the studio, maybe there aren’t “rules” per say, but “strong guidelines” at least, or think of it as “shit you should do if you want someone to work with you again.” Some of it sounds like common sense, some of it sounds unnecessary, but trust me, it’ll all make life in the lab smoother. This is for both engineers and artists, so share this with the next rapper who comes in and spits — literally — all over your mic.

Being in an indie band is running a never-ending, rewarding, scary, low-margin small business.
In order to plan and execute our Fall tour, we had to prepare for months, slowly gathering risk and debt before selling a single ticket. We had to rent lights. And book hotel rooms. And rent a van. And assemble a crew. And buy road cases for our instruments. And rent a trailer. And….

This month we examine another classic keyboard, the Fender Rhodes Piano. Last month we discussed the Wurlitzer electric piano and commented about how it's sound was heard on many hit records. The number of hit recordings on the Rhodes far exceeds those on the Wurlitzer. The Rhodes sound was featured on many of the Rock and Soul records of the seventies and it was also adopted by many jazz keyboardists of that time.

Most artists spend months writing, recording, and finalizing their songs, merch, and live performances for the marketplace, only to make repeated mistakes when it comes to promoting themselves. Don't let this be you. Here are six career-killing mistakes you want to be absolutely sure to avoid. These are costly mistakes. So before your next convention, get your shit together. Think first, and act second. You'll get so much more bang for your buck!

Turning up late. To everything. Every. Single. Time.
Do you have some sort of disease that makes it impossible for you turn up on time?
We even developed an elaborate system where we tell you a time 2 hours earlier than when we need to arrive. You’re STILL an hour late.

I've been looking for gigs lately, I've never seen so many free and low paying gigs. Well the economy is bad, so I can understand that a little bit. However, it is no longer good enough for the musician to be willing to perform for little compensation. Now we are expected to also be the venue promoter? The expectations are that the band will not only provide great music, but also bring lots of people to their venue. It is now the band’s responsibility to make this happen, not the club owner.

In The Biz:

Those of us who have been around for over 40 years know a little bit more about the evolution of the music industry than our younger counterparts. Remember the 45? You know back when the Jackson 5 was a group and Michael Jackson had an afro? You had an A side and a B side. Then there was the LP and the 8 tracks. Most of us bought singles in those days because it was all we could afford. However, we got the music we wanted and record labels made money. Even when the tape recorder came out and we started recording our favorite songs off of the radio the industry still made money.

A band is a unique and complex relationship, and with so many different personalities and goals among band members, things can sometimes get tricky. Some people are direct, some are passive, some are more organized than others. "Musicians are sensitive and odd creatures," says songwriter/guitarist Paul Hansen of indie folk band The Grownup Noise. "So inevitably, it will be a dysfunctional, but hopefully loving, family."

Mental illness and music isn't a subject that is often discussed, but it is one that affects a disproportionate number of musicians. Many, probably most of us, can think of a time that music listening to it, playing guitar, writing and performing songs helped us through a difficult time in our lives. I know I can. Playing music is a way of achieving catharsis, to deal with our emotions by expressing them. I'm a long way from the troubled teenager I once was, but even now, there's nothing like grabbing an axe and rocking out to lift my mood if I get low.

These are some of the worst and most common hoaxes because they seem so benign but they can easily cost you a lot of money without getting you anywhere. They tend to disguise themselves in the form of some sort of legitimate opportunity from a legitimate business whether it be getting your song played on the radio, getting you a record deal, or letting you play a showcase in front of a big time A&R rep. The common thread though is that they will all ask you for money to get access. With the exception of membership-based organizations like ASCAP or The Recording Academy, press, marketing, or radio promotion agencies, or a qualified professional industry consultant (determining that requires research though), there are hardly any legitimate music businesses that will charge you in order to get access to a career opportunity (and honestly the aforementioned companies aren't charging you for access, they're charging for their services- but I didn't want to confuse anyone into thinking they are not legitimate businesses because they cost money).

Congratulations, your album is finally finished and you are ready to share your masterpiece with the world! You have already read "The Secret to Using Social Media to Build a Massive Base" and you are eager to implement those ideas and promote your project. You have gathered a list of websites, DJs, booking agents, A&R's and promoters to begin networking. Well... on that list is a sketchy promoter, an unethical booking agent and a commercial DJ waiting to take your money. There are members of the music community who prey on unsigned musicians. "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."-Hunter S. Thompson.



 

 
 
 
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